Howarth's victory for thousands of adults with Autism

March 4, 2010 12:18 PM

David HowarthCambridge MP David Howarth is celebrating victory after an Adult Autism Strategy which could transform the lives of thousands of people living with the condition, was published yesterday (Wednesday).

Mr Howarth has campaigned for dramatic improvements in health, social care and other public services for people with autism and was instrumental in getting the strategy published.

And he supported the Autism Act which gives the strategy legal force, meaning that local authorities and the NHS will be breaking the law if they fail to provide support for people with autism.

He said: "We have got to tackle the ignorance and inequality routinely experienced by people with autism. This vitally important strategy is the first stage and I'm delighted people with autism have won the recognition they need and deserve.

"Now, I would like to see that local services get the support they need to drive these changes and really make a difference on the ground for people affected by the condition."

The three year strategy, "Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives", comes in response to National Autistic Society research revealing at least one in three adults with autism is experiencing serious mental health difficulties due to a lack of support.

Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, said; "We are delighted to have the support of David Howarth.

"This long awaited strategy is the first step to ensuring adults with autism will be able to enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the rest of society. Crucially, the strategy recognises the importance of specialist autism teams which we know are extremely successful at driving improvements in autism support.

"The next step will be to translate the strategy into decisive action at a local level - this momentous opportunity to transform the lives of people with autism and their families must not be wasted."

The delivery plan for the strategy, which will be published by March 31, will set out the priorities for the first year and provide support for the NHS and local authorities to deliver the strategy locally.

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